GEORGE TOWN, Jan 7 — A Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) watchtower at Batu Ferringhi, Penang collapsed this morning believed to be due to coastal erosion.

Penang Infrastructure and Transport Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said his team received a report on the incident at 3.40pm and there were no reports of injuries in the area, which had been cordoned off by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and APM.

He said they received a report from a hotel in Batu Feringghi about the collapse of a 10-metre high APM watchtower due to the high tide phenomenon that had eroded part of Batu Ferringhi beach.

“Erosion in the area of the watchtower began on December 23 and worsened due to the high tide phenomenon early this month and it accelerated erosion in the area.

“Following the incident, the MBPP and APM have closed the area. No one – tourists or staff – was injured in the incident,” he said in a statement today.

Zairil, who is also the Tanjung Bungah State Assemblyman, said his representatives together with the MBPP, Irrigation and Drainage Department (DID), Public Works Department (JKR), APM and Golden Sands Hotel visited the tower site this morning.

He said they had taken immediate action to demolish the watchtower as soon as possible for the safety of all parties.

“In addition, the DID will make a site visit to identify how to resolve the erosion problem. I would like to remind all visitors to Batu Ferringhi Beach to be careful and cooperate during the cleaning-up work of the tower,” he said.

Meanwhile, Northeast District APM officer Captain (PA) Muhammad Aizat Abdul Ghani said they had vacated part of the coastal area following the incident of the collapsed tower and the installation of ropes as a barrier had been done.

He said the APM was monitoring the situation at the scene to ensure that nothing untoward occurred. — Bernama